Drinks Archive

Thursday, August 20, 2009

melon agua fresca

melon agua fresca

I have a confession to make: this heat is kicking my butt. I know how earth-shattering this must sound: A 35-week pregnant woman is being done in by a streak of 95-degree muggy days in a city that requires walking, stair-climbing and waiting endlessly for trains on airless, timeless subway platforms? You don’t say!

But my confession is really about it being bad enough for me admit it, awful enough for me to break my own rules about what I will and will not complain about: Arugula that goes bad the day after you buy it? Fair game! The weather, and how it is hot, very hot? Nope! There is no more banal topic of conversation than the air out there, so let me attempt to stop this whining in its tracks. Also not up for discussion? How long 12 blocks feels when you’re carrying a watermelon. The oven, or any oven. Sautéing. Boiling things. Eating food that is in any way heated. The sixteen things I’d like to do with the eggplants and tomatoes I’ve hauled in from the markets this week, as they all require proximity to a lit stove, and that, my friends, is also not going to cut it.

cantaloupehoneydewchoppedchunkedstrainingstraining

Instead, let’s talk about a good and established way to cool down — I mean, besides sticking your head in the freezer, though lord knows I’ve done plenty of that this week — and it goes by the name of agua fresca, or “fresh water”. These drinks are made from any combination of fruits or herbs, water and sugar, and always served icy cold. There’s so much to like about them: they’re gorgeously hued, but mildly flavored. They’ve got none of the syrupy sweetness of bottled fruit juices, tasting instead like the sippable fruits that they are. A good one will taste like you managed to liquefy a piece of fruit without altering it one bit, and a great one will make you forget, even temporarily, exactly how much steam is coming off the sidewalks downstairs.

lime juice

Continued after the jump »

Thursday, July 2, 2009

watermelon lemonade

watermelon lemonade

As will happen from time to time (coughdaily), last week I got to longing for what I consider one of the greatest Cocktails Out There That Is Not a Manhattan, one that goes by the name Porch Swing as is served at Blue Smoke, a delicious mutt of a barbecue joint (Memphis babybacks, Kansas City spareribs, North Carolina slaw and Texas brisket, anyone?) on East 27th Street. The Porch Swing is a also a delicious mutt, with Pimm’s and Hendrick’s Gin and Lemonade and 7-Up and thin slices of cucumber (recipe over here) and omg is it October when mama can have a proper, strong drink yet?

watermelonwatermelon, read to pureelemonsloads of lemonslemons, drainedsetup

But for once, something phenomenal came out of this backyard longing, and that was (when Googling about for the official Porch Swing recipe), the discovery of something a little more gestationally-appropriate, the Watermelon Lemonade from Bubby’s, a pie and chicken noodle soup-style comfort food restaurant in TriBeCa. What brought these two drinks together was some Mix-Off event, where the Porch Swing won first prize in the boozy category and the watermelon lemonade stole my heart in the safe-for-babies zones. It had to be mine. Heck, it was mine long before I had a sip.

squeezing lemon juice

Continued after the jump »

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

cold-brewed iced coffee

cold brewed iced coffee

Since I began working from home, I have no doubt I have saved a ton of money by not buying those yogurt-granola cups and salad bar lunches everyday. What I haven’t saved even a penny on, however, is my iced coffee habit. If anything, it’s gotten worse.

iced coffee, my love

Or better, depending on how you look at it. The first month, I spent a lot of time at Starbucks, yet not because I am addicted to their coffee, but the other unspoken the Opiate of the Freelancing Class: Free wireless. But after a few weeks, the loud and generally awful music (greatly compensated for by playing Hallelujah often, however, they’d play the John Cale version and that’s the wrong one and yes, I have digressed this far) and the fact that even at 9 a.m., the bathrooms smelled like a barn. An overcrowded one.

pouring water

Enter my newly-purchased wireless card, and suddenly I have freedom to work at wonderful coffee shops with from Joe to 9th Street to Grumpy to you-name-it, I’ve been to them all. Fair Trade and Clover-made and Sumatra blended coffees, my habit is spiraling blissfully out of control.

Continued after the jump »

Sunday, May 13, 2007

baked eggs + chive biscuits + bloody marys

mother's day brunch

Today, I have failed you as a food blogger. I’m not proud. I cooked and cooked, we and our loved ones ate like kings, there was not a single recipe that shouldn’t be archived and returned to and yet, in the whirl of things we forgot to pick up the camera. (Hangs head in shame.) You get no photographic evidence of the shredded hash browns, chive biscuits, egregious amount of thick-cut maple-cured bacon, baked almond-orange French toast, insanely spicy bloody marys, plain yogurt I flavored myself with real vanilla and just a pinch of sugar. You’re just going to have to trust me that it was grand.

Since we’ve been together Alex and I have twice taken our mothers and those dudes they married for Mother’s Day brunches. I’m not going to say that we haven’t had good meals, but we’ve never had a great one. No matter who cooks it (and really, it’s always a short order cook; the chef with his/her name on the menu isn’t called in six hours early just to flip eggs), in the end most brunch menus look exactly alike and with the prices jacked up for the holiday, you’ve got to question the sanity of a $50 over-cooked egg. I don’t overcook my eggs, do you? And yet I’ll pay someone else to, and to serve bacon that’s never quite crisp. My bacon is always crisp.

Continued after the jump »

Friday, April 13, 2007

the tart marg

the tart marg

What seems like a million years ago, Alex and I had some friends over for a fajita party at our old 500-square foot Chelsea bungalow. Lacking an electric citrus juicer, we spent a good part of the afternoon hand-reaming the juice out of dozens of limes so that I could make a few pitchers of the margarita recipe that was printed on the Classic Cocktails paper place mat I’d stolen from Stingy Lulus the weekend before. If you like your margaritas so tart you might have to close one eye to swallow a single sip and your memories few and far between, I cannot recommend this old-school recipe enough.

limeslimes

But, if you’re only going to invite over four friends, may I suggest you make slightly less than two-and-a-half pitchers? Because in the years since, rarely a month goes by that we don’t tell the story of Dave and Steve getting ejected from a cab that night in the middle of Times Square, Steve having his “to-go cup” tossed in the trash by a patrolling police officer, Dave getting in a non-sensical argument with the cop’s partner (Steve swears they were speaking in Brogue by this point) who called him a drunken disgrace and told him to go home but Dave pleaded that he was trying to go home but mean cabbie kicked them out and then, when the cops finally sent them on their way, Dave announcing, “Well, I think I handled that pretty well.”

Continued after the jump »


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